Any loft conversion will at the very least have to meet building regulations and be inspected by the Building Control Surveyor from your local council. Before starting work on a loft conversion you need to have a basic understanding of building regulations, planning permission and permitted development. In this blog we have prepared some straightforward guides that will help you understand the regulations and give you a perception of what may be needed for the conversion.
It is essential that your loft conversion satisfies all of the regulations and permissions that apply. Without them you’ll find yourself being ordered to remove any alterations and you might have challenges if you decide to sell your house at a later date.
If your loft conversion is intended for use as new accommodation, for instance a bedroom, study or office then you will need to make a Building Regulations application. Building regulations are used to ensure that any building or alteration work complies with the set standards for the design and construction of buildings, mainly to ensure the health and safety for those living in or around the building. Also, they are increasingly used to make certain that the building is power efficient and that access to the building has been considered.
Under permitted development you can make improvements (such as small extensions or loft conversions) to your home without receiving planning permission. The rules were updated effective from the 1st October 2008 to reduce red tape and encourage home owners to develop their homes. The good thing is that lots of loft conversions can be built under permitted development rights.
If you are making changes to the external appearance of your property, then you may also need to obtain planning permission. In the UK you’ll need planning permission (sometimes called planning consent) if you would like build on land, or if you want to modify the use of land or buildings. The necessity for planning permission was introduced in 1947 under the Town and Country Planning act. Interestingly, all buildings and land uses that existed prior to 1947 were granted planning permission, and it was only after that date that planning permission was needed. The current version of the act is the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 if you choose to have a look you will have to put some time aside because it is a very lengthy and complex document! The Local Planning Authority (LPA) is responsible for granting planning permission. The LPA is normally your local Borough or District Council who will usually have a website with all of the relevant information and forms.
The video below from Loft Life is very informative: